Battered, bruised, and broken I emerged from the shade of the woodland. Catching a glimpse at my feet I noticed they were bare and unclothed - the gang that had moments ago chased me out of town, killing me in the process, had taken my shoes, my shoes. While it is true that just hours previously these garments were in the comfortable possession of an over-confident woodcutter, I was still bewildered at the monstrosity of people. Putting on a brave face I set out into the wilderness; in my mind I was a hardened adventurer - my naked feet simply added to the illusion that I was the Mortal Online equivalent of John McLane. Yippi-ki-yay-mother-effers.
I had left the bone-encrusted village of Vaada in a cloud of theft, murder, and insults. Now as I traversed hillsides and grassy plains I had nothing to my name except for a pickaxe and a small sword – in Mortal Online terms this is the equivalent of being a candle in the wind. Fearing that other players would take violently to my ‘murder’ flagged status, I clung to foliage and rocky paths. I was certain that I would at some point come across another village or town – perhaps I would find a place that would welcome a vagabond like I?
The Road Warrior
Unsurprisingly, given the learning curve of the game, there is no map within Mortal Online. While the world of Nave is not the biggest, it will steal hours away as you randomly wander from plain to desert. I had been tirelessly roaming the land in search of something, of anyone. I was alone; the only company I had were the small gusts of wind that gently caressed my exposed penis and buttocks. In a way my figure cut quite the poignant picture.
After around an hour of fruitless wandering I was starting to worry a little at my situation. Spending too much time outside the safety of a town or village in Mortal Online is bad news. While there are benevolent players in the game, there are also psychopathic sociopaths that spend the majority of their time marauding the wilderness in search for idiotic folk like myself. Oh sure I had nothing of value on my person but others were not to recognize this; for all they knew I was a sweet piece of ass hauling a bounty of wood or some other such material. I needed to figure out a plan pretty quickly.
Climbing to the highest point in my immediate surroundings I could see that there were mountains to the north, grassy plains and winding rivers to east; and desert land in the west. Throwing caution to the wind I decided to head for the desert land; I had presumed that any arid town would be a den of likeminded ne’er-do-wells like me. Perhaps I was thinking of Star Wars a little too much. Regardless, I set my sights on adventure and headed towards sandy surroundings.
The Kindness of Strangers
When playing a game that offers no real sense of assistance, there is a feeling of perpetual confusion and bewilderment in my mind. While on the one hand I was enjoying the survival that faced me in this game - on the other I was bored beyond belief. Hours of fruitless travelling will reduce you to annoyance and curse-ridden mutterings but I really was reaching a point where I thought I would have to re-roll another character and start again.
Wandering through the desert and at the end of my tether I could see a small cluster of houses on the horizon. While this definitely was not the town I was looking for, perhaps it was a start. I started heading for this small settlement with optimism and hope lying heavily and expectantly in my heart. What I would find however provoked different emotions.
As I approached this small village I noticed there were one or two shapes moving around. As it was night I could not distinguish whether or not these were people or simply animals as lost as I. Cautiously my pace lessened and I walked straight into the middle of this little commune discovering that the shapes were indeed people, and they were brandishing pointy objects.
I tried to explain that I was not an enemy and I would not run them through with my blade. I tried to tell them that my murder flagged status was not due to a hateful campaign of theft but actually the result of circumstance – I was a woodcutter driven to the edge of insanity by a gang of thieves; I was the victim here. Would you believe that these guys didn’t buy this story from a bearded-stranger? I even resigned to stripping completely naked to show my harmlessness. It back fired.
As they slashed and delivered spells of fire to my fleeing, nude form I could only imagine what emotions were going through my attacker’s minds. Here I was, a flagged murderer running away in my birthday suit screaming for mercy and telling people that I was the product of a corrupt world. Perhaps my combatants could not see the funny side to all this nonsense? Could they not gather that I was not a rabid killer but indeed, a foolish chancer? Apparently, they could not. My head was sent rolling into the dark desert and I rose in spirit form typing messages of abhorrence to those that were now checking my corpse for any spoils.
The Farm and the Pig Tamer
To be honest, I was sucking at survival in Mortal Online. I had already met my maker three times, what kind of endurance expert was I? After my encounter with ‘the villagers’ I needed a new plan of action: my presence anywhere was not well received so therefore why put all my energy into finding somewhere filled with prospective vigilantes? I decided that it was time to slink back into the darkness and stay away from civilization.
While retrieving my physical form from a priest, I left the desert behind me. The place was mostly barren except for the odd horse I had seen and besides, the place might have been filled with angry town’s people. I travelled back to the grassy plains, returned from the netherworld and surmised to find a place of comfort – which I eventually found in the shape of a small pig farm.
Oh this place was my own personal paradise. I spent many a happy sun-washed eve slaying swine after swine. These dirty little hogs were littered everywhere between the various buildings this little ranch offered – I was in pork heaven. Before long the landscape was abundant with gore and entrails as I carved my bloody path. Every so often I would retreat to a small shack to heal and recover from my activities and life was good – or so I thought.
Apparently a number of mushy gore bags scattered around the place will alert a passersby to your presence. While I was out merrily chopping away in quest of leather and stats, I wasn’t aware of my impending doom. Even when the little pig I had just murdered fell, I failed to register the rather ridiculous sight that was in front of me. You see, while I was administrating justice to these animals, a bearded man and his enormous pet boar named “Truffles” were running towards me at a dizzying pace. Only when it was too late did I realise – this man and his suidae pal were about to bring the pain.
I tried to run, I tried to hide, and I tried to beg. Didn’t work: never does in Mortal Online. Apparently this guy was some sort of pig champion or simply another crooked thief; I fell pretty quickly to vicious bites and tusks. My head didn’t tear away from body but he surely did with the leather I was holding. Around three hours of work and bliss all for it to be punctured by a bastard with an enormous pig. Is there any justice in the world?